MEXICO CITY (AP) — A blistering display of bare-knuckled political infighting broke out this week in President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party, complete with secret wiretaps and allegations of drug cartel ties.
With Morena now dominant, the biggest question in Mexican politics has become what kind of internal divisions will hit the party — which is basically built around López Obrador — when he retires in 2024. The answer that emerged this week is that it probably won’t be pretty.
The bloodshed started, literally, on Friday, when Salvador Llamas, a member of Morena’s national committee, was gunned down in front of terrified diners at an upscale steak restaurant in the western city of Guadalajara.
The victim served as a local official in the resort of Puerto Vallarta, which like the rest of Jalisco state is dominated by the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. Strangely, Llamas was gunned down by a man who had been sitting with him at his table. Local prosecutors said the killing appeared to involve a drug cartel.
The killing reignited the ill feeling from Morena’s internal party leadership elections in August, which were replete with accusations of ballot-stuffing and fraud; Llamas was elected by a suspiciously wide margin in that vote.
John Ackerman, a U.S.-born Morena dissident and academic, quickly tweeted that Llamas was “a narco from Vallarta, elected as a Morena committee member by voters bused to the polls.”
López Obrador’s lack of concern may be in part due to the fact he has never tried very hard to build a real party; he is content to keep Morena as a reflection of his own outsized personality and has been happy to welcome discredited figures from the old ruling PRI party to find a new home in Morena. Those elements are likely to clash with López Obrador’s more left-leaning, long-term followers once the president retires.
Source: El Financiero